How does Shakespeare treat death in Romeo and Juliet? Frame your answer in terms of legal, moral, familial, and personal issues. Bearing these issues in mind, compare the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Mercutio, and Mercutio and Tybalt.
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Shakespears treats death in Romeo and Juliet as something that happens when people come into conflict. For example, Juliet is Lord Montague's only child. He tells Paris, "Earth hath swallowed up all my hopes but she." In the time of the play infant motality would have been incredibly high. The Prince treats death as one punishment that he, and he alone, can sentence someone to. Early in the play, as the legal force in the play, he tells the Montagues and the Capulets, "If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace." Yet he do show some compassion for Romeo when he kills Tybalt who has killed Romeo's friend Mercutio. Tybalt's death would have been inevitable because the law would have been an eye for an eye, so the Prince would have sentenced Tybalt. Therefore, he punishes Romeo to exile. The suicides of Romeo and Juliet at the end represent a sort of "passionate" look at death, since they obviously woud rather be "together" than either one live without the other. Finally, then, Shakespeare treats death differently depending on which character one is examining.